Prepare your business for the energy efficiency revolution
The narrative in the trades has largely been about two things as of late: energy efficiency and the shortage of labour. Energy efficiency has grown in popularity as the industry looks at reducing its impact on climate change and its overall carbon footprint. The industry has yet to solve the shortage of labour issue. I suspect of this topic it will take several more years, and oh so many meetings, before something will stick.
At least the number of times you hear “COVID” thrown around in a conversation has severely diminished as time goes on. Although, it won’t feel like we’ve returned to normal until the mask mandate and vaccine passports have been lifted. I suspect it might be another six months at least until the entire country reaches this level again. Here in Ontario, the government has paused lifting of restrictions as cases have begun to increase again. I just hope that we don’t go back into another full-blown lockdown. COVID-rant over.
As of late, I have seen a surplus of newly developed programs which focus on energy efficiency and, often times, net-zero. In the last issue of the magazine, there was an article focusing on the circulator pump energy rating program, which was launched by the Hydraulic Institute (HI). The program was officially launched in June 2021, with pumps manufactured by Taco, Armstrong, Grundfos, and Xylem already on the database. It was created with utility companies in mind; however, for contractors, the program allows them to stay up to date on the latest efficiency levels of the pumps. They are able to go back to the homeowner and explain why a certain pump would be ideal for the install. To learn more about the program, visit www.plumbingandhvac.ca.
This isn’t the only label that has been introduced as of late, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) launched the Net Zero Labelling Program for Renovations on Oct. 28. The program features a two-tiered technical requirement for Net Zero and Net Zero Ready homes. A pilot version of the renovations portion of the program ran from April 2020 to March 2021. Net zero training has been developed with the program for renovators and energy advisors. For more information on this labelling program, make sure to check out the November/December issue.
These types of programs help highlight where the industry is moving in the future. We are less than a decade away until the 2030 deadline to completely phase-out natural gas generation. Whether or not this goal is plausible, remains to be seen. But as the industry makes moves towards carbon neutral technology, there will need to be a surplus of additional training required for the industry to stay on top of where trends appear to be moving. For those in the energy sector, there is concern around whether or not the electrical grid will be able to handle the amount of energy that will be required to heat/cool all our homes. It might only be nine years away till this deadline falls on our laps; however, that is nine years for infrastructure to catch up to this demand. I suspect the hard 2030 deadline will become a softer deadline with a few extra years added on. But before we know it, it’ll be upon us.